Among all the fixtures in a house, the toilet is probably the one that should be cleaned most often. It handles the worst of the waste that leaves the house. Although a toilet does an efficient job, there can be splattering, stuff sticking, etc.
Toilets can be kept clean on an as needed basis, after high traffic, after a period of time, or just before the in-laws visit. But it is generally a good idea to set aside time to do it at least once per week, just to be certain the job gets done. In between scheduled cleanings, you will know when it needs to be done.
For the routine cleaning, use a product like Lysol, and begin by tackling the toilet exterior with a sponge. Gloves are recommended. Some experts even recommend a breathing device, eye protection, and a radiation suit designed to protect soldiers in chemical, biological, and nuclear situations, but these are often left off in practice. At least remember to open a window to ventilate the room.
Next, spray the inside of the bowl with a cleanser (mostly the sides above the water line). Avoid using abrasive cleansers as these may end up making small grooves in the porcellain which may allow molds to cling to the side of the bowl. Let the cleanser set for about 10 minutes to thoroughly work up the dirt and germs. Then, using a toilet brush, designed for the purpose, give the inside of the bowl a thorough scrubbing. Then flush.
In older toilets, and in special cases, tougher stains will develop. These can be removed using a pumice stone. The pumice stone is mildly abrasive; so only use it when absolutely necessary. Coupled with a cleanser it is quick and effective.
Remember, when using cleansers for cleaning the toilet (or anything else), these cleaning products are basically chemicals. Mixing them in a toilet bowl, a bucket, or even wiping one over the other on a piece of tile can create gasses that are not merely dangerous to breath, but can cause death. Leave the mixing of chemicals to professionals in labs who have at least a faint idea of what may happen as a result. You certainly would not want to have your final mention in the newspaper refer to you as having been found face first in a toilet bowl.
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